Acanthamoeba/Naegleria Culture

Test Code

CPT Codes

Preferred Specimen
1 mL CSF collected in a CSF collection tube, or
3 mm biopsy, scraping, or equivalent tissue from brain, lung, cornea, or lesion collected in a sterile container with 2 mL sterile saline, or
1 sterile swab of conjunctiva/corneal ulcer collected in a sterile container with 2 mL sterile saline, or
2 contact lenses suspended in 2 mL lens care solution from an open container (already in use by patient) or in 2 mL sterile saline collected in a sterile, leak-proof container

Minimum Volume
0.5 mL CSF or 1 contact lens

Other Acceptable Specimens
2 mL lens care solution from an open container (already in use by patient)

All specimens should be collected aseptically and held at room temperature (20-25°C). Do not freeze or refrigerate specimens. Do not dilute CSF or Contact Lens Solution with sterile saline.

Stability Limitations: For optimum recovery of organisms, sample should arrive in Chantilly Monday through Thursday a.m. as soon as possible after collection.

Transport Container
Sterile Container, leak-proof

Transport Temperature
Room temperature

Specimen Stability
Room temperature: 7 days
Refrigerated: Unacceptable
Frozen: Unacceptable

Reject Criteria (Eg, hemolysis? Lipemia? Thaw/Other?)
Liver fluid • Slides • Swabs in bacterial or viral transport medium


Setup Schedule
Set up: Daily; Report available: 11-12 days

Reference Range
Not isolated

Clinical Significance
Small free-living amebae belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba and Naegleria have been identified as agents of human disease, causing infections of the central nervous system, cornea, lungs, and skin. These amebae are commonly found in soil, fresh water, sewage, and sludge. Acanthamoeba spp. are known to cause a chronic granulomatous amoebic encephalitis as well as a painful vision- threatening keratitis. Naegleria fowleri is implicated in primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, an acute fulminating disease that is often fatal. This test is for culture of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria only. For detection of intestinal amebae, such as Entamoeba histolytica, please request, Ova and Parasites, Concentrate and Permanent Smear CPT 87177.

Performing Laboratory
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute-San Juan Capistrano, CA
33608 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2042

The CPT Codes provided in this document are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payor being billed. Any Profile/panel component may be ordered separately. Reflex tests are performed at an additional charge.